The Father Factor

Why It’s Vital to Reduce Dads’ Work Stressors

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Jan 8, 2019


Helping dads to reduce work stressors is one of the most significant ways to help them and positively affect their children’s well-being.

A recent report from the National Research Center on Hispanic Children drives that point home. The researchers examined data on the stressors that low-income Hispanic parents face—dads and moms—in four areas that affect family dynamics and parents’ ability to provide non-monetary resources to their children:

  • Job security
  • Work schedule
  • Earnings
  • Employer-provided benefits

Why is it so vital to help dads reduce stressors in each of these areas? To take job security, for example, research shows that having it reduces psychosocial stress which, in turn, positively impacts parenting.

Stressors in job security include:

  • Involuntary part-time employment
  • More than one job
  • Holding a job for a short time (i.e. less than one year)

 Stressors in work schedule include:

  • Working more than 40 hours per week
  • An irregular schedule/shift (i.e. not Monday-Friday during the day)
  • Long commute

Earnings that qualify a dad as low-income is a stressor all its own. For the sample in this study that meant earning less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level.

Stressors in employer-provided benefits include a lack of access to employer-provided health insurance.

The proportion of dads who face stressors in each area are too numerous to mention here. Please read the report for details.

Realizing the cumulative effect of a dad’s work stressors is what’s most important to understand when it comes to helping him and his child’s well-being. The more stressors a dad has, the more negatively they can impact him and his child’s well-being.

In this regard, the researchers created a “cumulative job stressor score” for each dad that counted how many stressors he faced. They found that most dads faced at least two stressors. Many dads faced three or more. So, while helping a dad to reduce even one stressor can have a positive impact on him and his child’s well-being, learning about all the stressors he faces and helping him to reduce as many of them as possible will have an even greater impact.

Do you know the work stressors faced by the dads you serve?

What have you done to identify and help dads to reduce those stressors?


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Topics: Featured, General Fatherhood Program Resources, General Fatherhood Research & Studies

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